Skip to main content

The number of people aged over 85 living in Wales will increase by an estimated 119% by 2035, according to a new report.

First published:
20 December 2017
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

In 2016, the Welsh Government changed the law that governs the way social services help people to lead fulfilled lives and achieve wellbeing, and protect people from abuse and neglect.

Under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act, health boards and local authorities are required to jointly assess the care and support needs of people in their area. These population assessments also state what is available to meet people’s needs and what else needs to be done to prevent those needs from increasing or from arising in the first place. They look at a wide range of people and communities, from children and young people through to older age.

The National Population Assessment Report, which was commissioned by the Welsh Government and produced by Social Care Wales, brings together the main findings of the first population assessment reports published by the regional partnership boards earlier this year. 

It found: 

  • People living in Wales (26%) are more likely to have a limiting long-standing illness or disability than other regions of Great Britain
  • 1 in 4 adults experience mental health problems in their lifetime
  • 1 in 10 children have a diagnosable mental health problem
  • 1 in 5 young people in Wales report low life satisfaction
  • 17% of adults report feeling lonely
  • Nearly half of adults in Wales experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), while 41% of adults in Wales who suffered four or more ACEs are now living with low mental well-being
  • An estimated 1 in 4 people in a general hospital ward have dementia
  • 75% of carers in Wales are concerned about the impact of caring on their health over the next year
  • 1 in 3 people over 80 will have sight or hearing loss
  • 9 in 10 prisoners have a diagnosable mental health and/or substance misuse problem.
Minister for Children and Social Care, Huw Irranca-Davies said:

“For the very first time, we now have an extremely useful overview of the care and support needs across Wales. 

“Based on what people have said, as well as what the research and data tells us, the report gives us significant insight into the lives of people who may need care and support to help them lead the best lives they can.  

“The implementation of the Social Services and Well-being Act is revolutionising the way care is delivered throughout Wales. Together with the more detailed regional population assessments, this national report will help the NHS, social services and other partners to shape policy and service delivery to provide people with the care and support they need, when they need it.”